Fitness trainers see hundreds of people pass through the gym everyday. Chances are, at least half are doing basic exercises incorrectly. If you’re putting in the time but not seeing results, you might be one of them.
To help you make the most of your gym time, Verve Health & Fitness’s senior trainer Matt O’Connor and manager Kris Kovch show us the top five exercises that you’re probably doing wrong and how to fix them.
Exercise 1: The Squat
What you’re doing wrong: You initiate the squat from your knees, putting unnecessary strain on them. As you squat, your knees shoot out way past your feet.
How to fix it: Keep your hips back and place your weight on your heels. As you squat, keep the weight on your heels, not your toes. You should feel like you’re sitting on a chair, with your thighs parallel to the floor.
What you’re doing wrong: Your chest falls forward, causing you to slouch as you squat.
How to fix it: Extend your arms up towards the ceiling as you squat, which will help open up the chest.
Exercise 2: The Pushup
What you’re doing wrong: Your hands are placed too far forward or back. When you do a pushup, you’re placing all of the stress on the front of your shoulders, not engaging your chest.
How to fix it: Walk your hands toward your shoulder line. As you do a pushup, your elbows should bend toward your back, engaging the chest and core.
What you’re doing wrong: Your hips sag or your pelvis tilts up as you do a pushup.
How to fix it: Keep your abs tight as you do a pushup. Your body should form a straight line.
Exercise 3: Bicep Curl
What you’re doing wrong: Your hands are either too far forward or back.
How to fix it: Bend the knees slightly. Keep your elbows close to your side, chest open, and shoulders back. As you hold the dumbbells, Kovch says, “soup the hands out,” imagining that you are holding two bowls of soup in your hands.
Exercise 4: Tricep Dip
What you’re doing wrong: Your feet are too far forward, causing your chest to fall forward and elbows to bend to the side.
How to fix it: Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Roll your shoulders back and keep your hands at your side on a box. Scoot your bottom forward so it’s hanging off the side of the box or bench. Keep your chest open as you dip. Your elbows should bend straight back.
Exercise 5: Side Raises
What you’re doing wrong: Your arms are completely locked as you lift the dumbbells from your side.
How to fix it: Slightly bend your elbows as you lift your arms.
What you’re doing wrong: Your chest falls forward as you lift the dumbbells from your side.
How to fix it: Look up toward the ceiling and roll your shoulders back as you lift your arms.
What you’re doing wrong: Your arms rise above your head.
How to fix it: Your arms should be in line with your shoulders when you do side raises.